Broken Kindle screens as art

A new book catalogues a problem that has plagued Kindle users the world over.

(Credit: Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg)

A new book catalogues a problem that has plagued Kindle users the world over.

We know that feeling. You know: the sinking dread when you pull your Kindle out of your bag, only to see the screen displaying some strangeness, as though your library has been taken over by something out of Lovecraft.

The Kindle's screen, particularly in earlier versions of the e-reader, is a fragile beast. Although some actions that will cause the screen to break are easy to predict (dropping it, sitting on it), sometimes it just seems completely arbitrary.

Two gentlemen, Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg, have documented the phenomenon in the form of a new book, 56 Broken Kindle Screens. The print-on-demand title has taken 56 found images of broken Kindle screens and compiled them in a decidedly arty concept.

The book takes as its starting point the peculiar aesthetic of broken E Ink displays and serves as an examination into the reading device's materiality. As the screens break, they become collages composed of different pages, cover illustrations and interface elements.

They should have asked us; we could have given them some pictures.

If you want a copy, you can grab it from Lulu for just US$5.73. Ironically, the book is only available in paper format at this time, but a Kindle version is coming soon.

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